England rugby coach Eddie Jones has compared the dead rubber third Test against Australia on Saturday to a World Cup final.
With the series already decided by England’s wins in Brisbane and Melbourne, Jones is clearly trying to ensure his side don’t suffer from complacency.
“For us this third Test is something like a World Cup final,” Jones said.
“To win a World cup you’ve got to win three big games in a row.
“You’ve got the quarter-final, semi-final and final, so it’s a great dress rehearsal for us.”
He dismissed the suggestion he had tried to get under the skin of Wallabies counterpart and his former clubmate Michael Cheika with some of his comments.
“I haven’t said one disrespectful thing about Australia, I haven’t said one thing disrespectful about his coaching,” Jones said.
“I’ve been very complimentary because they are a good side Australia and he’s a good coach.”
Asked if playing alongside Cheika at Sydney club Randwick meant he understood the incumbent Wallabies coach better than someone from a different background, Jones said “yeah, but he also understands me, so I don’t see that as being any advantage.”
The Australian-born coach returned to his rugby roots on Monday, when he held a training session at Coogee Oval, Randwick’s home ground.
Jones said it had been 11 years since his last coaching session there when he was the Wallabies mentor.
He now wants England to knock the All Blacks off the top of the world rankings, although they’re not scheduled to face New Zealand in a series until 2018.
“New Zealand has been up there all the time and it’s about time someone put a real challenge and we’re going to be the side that puts a challenge to them,” Jones said.
Jones was confident the massive effort expended by England in the first two Tests would not prevent them from playing their best in the series finale.
“The interesting thing for me is that the last ten minutes of each game we finished the stronger and the point-scoring shows that and so there’s no reason why we can’t do that on Saturday,” he said.
Asked what the reaction from his Australian family and friends had been to England’s success on tour Jones quipped “I think my daughter got a bit of a hard time at work.”